Baby and aid worker killed as Russia and Syrian regime resume strikes on Idlib

Baby and aid worker killed as Russia and Syrian regime resume strikes on Idlib
A baby and a Civil Defence worker were killed as the Syrian regime and Russia resumed airstrikes after a five-day lull, which was attributed to bad weather by pro-regime media.
2 min read
31 December, 2019
The Syrian Civil Defence rushed to help people injured in the strikes [Getty]

A baby and a Civil Defence volunteer were killed in regime airstrikes on Maarat al-Numan on Monday as Russia and regime airstrikes resumed after a five-day lull.

A source from the Syrian Civil Defence told The New Arab’s Arabic-language service that a regime helicopter had dropped a barrel bomb on Maarat al-Numan, killing both the baby and the volunteer.

Syria’s rebel-held Idlib province has been under a fierce assault by the regime and Russia since November. Airstrikes intensified around the middle of December, killing hundreds of people, forcing 235,000 to flee their homes, and emptying Maarat al-Numan of its inhabitants.

Aid workers say that only a few thousand people remain in the city, which once hosted 110,000 people.

Russian airstrikes also hit the towns of Talmans, Majalia, and Ariha in southern Idlib province. The correspondent of The New Arab’s Arabic-language service reported that Russia had launched at least 19 strikes on Idlib province.

The Syrian Civil Defence also said that four people were injured in the village of Sheikh Ahmed in rebel-held southern Aleppo province when thermobaric and cluster bombs were dropped by regime or Russian aircraft.

Read also: How Russia uses 'de-escalation agreements' to destroy cities in Syria

In addition, rebel fighters blocked an attempted regime advance near Zumar in southern Aleppo province, suffering five casualties in the process according to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights.

Recently, hundreds of fighters from the Turkish-backed Syrian National Army arrived in Idlib to join the rebels’ fight against the Assad regime.

The Syrian pro-regime newspaper Al-Watan attributed the previous lull in bombing to poor weather conditions. Heavy rains in Idlib province gave some respite to civilians as far as the bombing was concerned, but also caused great hardship to displaced people, drowning or damaging thousands of tents.

More than 500,000 people have been killed and millions more displaced since the Syrian conflict broke out in 2011, following the Assad regime’s brutal suppression of pro-democracy protests.

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